Using an integrated marketing campaign to raise awareness

Twenty four years ago, I lived in Montreal when a man killed 14 women at Ecole Polytechnique. An incident that shocked Canada and continues to be marked by remembrance ceremonies. Being in Montreal imprinted upon me the importance of gun control and taking action to end violence against women so much so that they continue to be important personal beliefs, actions and work.

So while the type of violence is different today I’d like to share materials from the 2013 awareness campaign that Communicate & Howe! created for Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region. We used a variety of tools and techniques to raise awareness throughout November which in Ontario is Woman Abuse Awareness.

This mix of tools and techniques is referred to these days as “integrated marketing communications” or an “integrated marketing campaign.” To me it is exactly the same as what I’ve simply called “communications” for 20 years.

Help Yourself.Help Your Kids

What about the kids?

The theme of this year’s campaign was “What about the kids?” We wanted to reach our audience of women 25 – 35 especially mothers of young kids. Our key messages were that “Abuse of women damages kids” and to take action “Help yourself. Help your kids.”

This year’s campaign followed up the successful 2012 campaign “Is your Prince Charming turning into Prince Harming?” which strategically used storytelling videos. How we proceeded this year is based upon lessons from last year.

While we took a strategic, integrated approach last year. We chose to take a more balanced approach this year.

Salons & Spas added a community network

We wanted to connect into community resources where we could reach women in a primarily female environment. We did so with a network of salons and spas across Waterloo Region. About 20 of them made campaign buttons and action cards available to clients and the community.

But first we recruited salon and spa staff to participate in the Cut it Out initiative. This program trained 15 people to recognize when clients may be living with domestic violence and gave them advice on how to respond and where to refer them for help. It’s a way to keep that network helping to move women beyond violence year round. While we didn’t create the program, it is fairly new in Canada and gained quite a bit of media attention.

an infographic easily shared key facts

An infographic was developed with the expertise of KapDesign. It sets the stage with key local facts then outlines how woman abuse damages all kids before sharing how Women’s Crisis Services can help. The infographic is found on the campaign’s online home on the agency’s website and was shared via its social media. A print version was distributed to over 100 locations including those places where we knew we could reach our audience such as nearly all licensed child care locations and community centres.

What about the kids infographic - Click image to open larger size.

Click image to open larger size.

VIDEOS communicated emotions

We again used video to help tell stories related to the campaign theme to raise awareness.

The first released started as an online version of the infographic but we decided to give it additional impact by weaving the facts in between a typical evening in a home with woman abuse as experienced by a young girl. It is called “What about the kids?” We tapped the video and animation expertise of Skylight Productions for this video.

The second weaved together art pieces by kids staying at one of the agencies shelters with quotes mostly provided by other kids to tell the story from their perspective. It is called “What about us?” We looked to Dwight Storring to use his digital storytelling experience to create this video.

Campaign rounded out with more elements

There were several other campaign tools and tactics that helped round out the integrated nature of the campaign such as an awareness evening, blog posts and media

What about the kids Facebook image

coverage. See the campaign’s online home for these materials.

And of course, social media played a key role in sharing this content. Facebook being the most important but Twitter played a bigger role than last year and the agency’s LinkedIn page was a new part of the mix. We also created the image shown here to be exclusively used on Facebook.